Bridgette Ferreira
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My name is Bridgette Ferreira and this is my ECE Story…

It all started in January 2019 when I began my journey at Fanshawe College Simcoe Campus. I took the accelerated program of Early Childhood Education and Developmental Service Work. They combined the two programs together for certain modules in the ECE and DSW course. I began my placement in early spring that year at Lloyd S. King Elementary School on Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. I worked in the senior kindergarten classroom with two amazing educators and a group of very special children I was there for two school years. I loved my placement experience with L.S.K Elementary School, it really showed me what community and dedication to youth looks like. I learned so many new and great things working there such as; land-based learning, the Anishinaabe culture and language, and what a positive learning environment looks like. In my last two weeks of placement my mentor switched jobs and began as the Coordinator of the MCFN EarlyON.  I followed her to the new center and helped to setup the program room in a short couple of days.  It was very exciting to be a part of the beginning of EarlyON!

One day after graduating from my program I was contracted by Mississauga of the Credit to work at EarlyON fulltime as the RECE Facilitator. I loved working there so much that when the opportunity for a permanent position became available I applied for the position. I waited two long weeks until I finally had my interview. I was so nervous and excited to hear back from them on whether or not I would become a permanent staff member with MCFN EarlyON.

When I received the call from Human Resources I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, I passed the interview and was being promoted to a permanent position! I’m so happy and proud of how far I’ve come since graduating college, but I really couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, friends and most importantly my colleagues.

Jacquelyn Keep
Jacquelyn Keep

Boozhoo, Aanii,

Mino Odeminyan Kwe nindizhinikaaz.  Gaawiin nindoodoodemisii.  Bangii eta go ni nitaa anishinaabem.  Idash nindaa noongom Strathroy.  Hello, hi, my spirit name is Mino Odeminyan Kwe, which means, good hearted women.  My English name is Jacquelyn Keep.  I do not have a clan.  I only speak a little Ojibwe.  I currently live in Strathroy.  I grew up on a farm just outside of Strathroy.  I am grateful to be a part of the Enji-Maajtaawaad Early Years team who are learning and practicing Anishinaabemowin every day. I have been in the Early Childhood Education field for over 20 years.  I am the Resource Consultant for Enji-Maajtaawaad Early Years and community members aged 0-6yrs.  I enjoy Kayaking and hiking with my husband and son when I am not working.

Jolene Hill
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Aanii!

Welcome! I’m Jolene, the Community Navigator here at MCFN EarlyON. I am many things, but above all else, I am a mom of two beautiful girls and a wife to my incredible husband, Rob of sixteen years.

It is a part of my nature to care for others. After many years of providing care for elders, children, youth, and individuals with special needs, my love and compassion for people of all diversities lead me into the social work career path, resulting in a Fanshawe College Social Service Worker diploma.

Mental Health is a strong focus of mine as it continues to evolve throughout our district with families, students and others. As a Registered Social Service Worker, I wish to help remove the stigma and change the conversation around mental health and well-being in our community. With certified training in both Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), I feel I can help implement new ways of living so we can reach our full potential of joy, health, and happiness.

I absolutely love my job here at MCFN EarlyON as children are the future of our communities. Making a positive difference and shaping young minds is an extremely important and rewarding role.

I am passionate about helping families succeed and receive the best care and support possible!

Miigwech,

Jolene Hill

Katharine Brown
Katharine-Brown

Aanii!

Katharine Brown nindizhinikaaz, my name is Katharine Brown. I am the Coordinator of the Mississaugas of the Credit EarlyON Child and Family Programs.

I graduated as an Early Childhood Educator from Humber College in 2003 and became registered with the College of ECE’s in 2009. I have spent my entire career thus far working in the field of early learning with children aged 0-6. I am proud to say that all of my career has been spent working in my indigenous community.

At the start of my career I worked as a classroom teacher at Ekwaamjigenang Children’s Centre, I spent 8 years in childcare with a few maternity leaves in between! I found my time in childcare very fulfilling and was grateful to all of the families who entrusted the care of their infants, toddlers and preschoolers to me.

In 2011 I left the childcare centre to pilot the Full Day Early Learning Kindergarten program (FDELK) as the classroom RECE at Lloyd S. King Elementary School. I spent 7 school years team teaching (with one of my closest friends and colleagues) the play based kindergarten program. I absolutely loved and thoroughly enjoyed my time there!

As an anishinaabe kwe (ojibwe woman) and Band Member of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and multi-generational lifelong resident of Hagersville my roots and commitment to this community run deep! My family members have a long history in education and dedication to serving the community.

As well as my career as an RECE I am a wife and a mother to three sons and one daughter who bring me great happiness and whom I am very proud of. My family also operates a small farm named “King’s Heritage Farm” located on New Credit First Nation where I live at my grandparents Lloyd and Margaret King’s homestead. The property has been in my family since before my Grandfather left the reserve to serve Canada in World War 2.  One of my greatest joys is spending time outside on the land raising livestock, growing vegetables and keeping honeybees. I also have a passion for growing flowers and restoring habitat for pollinators.

Laura
Laura

Aanii!

Ozhaawashkozi Anang Kwe ndizhinikaaz, Nipissing First Nation ndoonjibaa, meskwananiisi ndoodem.

My English name is Laura, my father’s family is from Nipissing First Nation, Redtail Hawk clan and I live in Hamilton.

I’m currently studying both Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) and Kanyen’kehá:ka (Mohawk) languages. My work previous to this role has been in the education and social services sectors for the last 15 years, providing cultural and social support to the urban Indigenous community in Hamilton. I have been a community educator for many years, doing public speaking and trainings that raise awareness and provide insight to Indigenous worldview, history, and contemporary issues. I am excited to support our families in connecting to language and culture. I’m also happy to provide non-indigenous families an opportunity to learn and have the best start to living reconciliation everyday.

My passions outside work include geeking out over music with my 17 year old son, hiking in the forest, knitting and beadwork.

Shelby
Shelby

Aanii Families,

Welcome to the MCFN EarlyON, it’s very nice to meet you! My name is Shelby, I am a RECE Facilitator. I graduated from the Early Childhood Education program at Mohawk College with a diploma in 2013. In 2014, I went back to Mohawk College and graduated with a certification from the Autism and Behavioural Science course.

I have worked in the childcare field for 8 years. I first started my journey at Ekwaamjigenang Children’s Centre as a student and fell in love with the Anishinaabe culture, language, arts and traditional teachings. I worked there for 6 years, in all classrooms with children ages 0-6. In 2018 I transferred to the MCFN EarlyON and became an employer to such a wonderful team.

I currently live in Hagersville with my family. I have a husband and two beautiful daughters named Ashlynn and Everleigh. We also have two tuxedo cats named Boots and Big Guy.

I can’t wait to share and learn more from the Anishinaabe Culture, explore the world around us and experience this with all of you through this journey in life.

A few of my favorite things:

  • Drink: Coffee
  • Food: Sushi
  • Stores: Walmart & Amazon
  • Hobbies: Cooking, hiking & camping
  • Season: Fall
  • Children’s Book: Baby loves to party By: Wednesday Kirwan
  • TV: Greys Anatomy
  • Colour: Purple
Wakenda Peters
Wakenda Peters

She:kon everyone, I am Wakenda Peters. I work as an Early Learning Specialist with Akwesasne Zero 2 Six, in my home community of Akwesasne.

I decided to join this field after completing a year in the Social Service Worker program. I knew I wanted to work with children and their families. I enrolled in the Early Childhood Education program at Mohawk College.

Upon completion, I worked as a Registered Early Childhood Educator in a Head Start classroom with the Akwesasne Mohawk Board of Education. Following this, I then spent an amazing 9 months at home with my wild and loving son Damon.

My current position opened up in a brand new Family Program. I knew I had to jump at this opportunity. This position has allowed me to empower and educate families. I love that our program is continuously enfolding to meet the needs of the community. I enjoy trying different ways to engage and support my community, especially during this trying time.